Seeing the Forest AND the Trees

Technology for a better world.

The Art of Possibility November 19, 2007

Filed under: philosophy — pdxbob @ 12:04 am

Ben and Rosamund Zander, in their book The Art of Possibility, speak about operating within the realm of possibility as opposed to constraints. It’s a similar message to Frances Moore Lappe’s message from her book, Getting a Grip. Kilong Ung also speaks of this in another way. The viewpoint that they all share, of abundance as opposed to scarcity and constraints, applies to how we each see ourselves in the world. Yes, there are scarce natural resources and constraints do exist on our lives. But, as the Zanders put it, there is a difference between survival and survival-thinking. The former has to do with having the necessary inputs and environment in which to survive, something that can be applied directly to poorest of the poor in this world on a daily basis. Survival-thinking, on the other hand, is how a person who is not dealing with daily survival perceives their actions and behaviors. ‘I have to drive to work because of the distance I need to travel.’ ‘I have to continue working toward a fat retirement because otherwise I will end up losing out when the time comes to retire.’ These are some examples of survival-thinking.

Rather than think that way, why not look at the possibilities we have. Sure I’ve got to keep working to pay my mortgage, but there are so many ways that I can help solve problems in this world.’ Ok, I’m not a marketing writer so I don’t have the cute phrases to catch your interest. But you get the point.

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One Response to “The Art of Possibility”

  1. Small Planet Institute Says:

    Thank you for seeing the link between Getting a Grip and the Art of Possibility!
    When anyone says to me, “Oh, you are an ‘optimist.’ I respond, “No, I’m a possibilist!”
    It’s not possible to know what’s possible–which means that we are free to act from our deepest knowing.
    Frances Moore Lappe


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